over the past few days i don't know how many times my sister asked me if i wanted to go to aldi's, as if she still doesn't know how to drive there even though we've already gone a few times. but today i actually had a reason to go; not to aldi's but the nearby harbor freight to pick up a brass hose connector splitter ($3.99 after coupon) and some female hose menders ($1.49 each). so i messaged her in the morning and she was more than happy to come pick me up on her way to fellsway plaza.

since aldi's would take the longest, we went to harbor freight/OSJL first. i went to harbor freight to quickly pick up what i needed then met my sister at OSJL. all the PPE, hand sanitizers, and cleaning supplies greeted you when you walked in. they had half gallon jugs of hand sanitizers for $25.50. i'm happy they finally have sanitizers in stock but the price seems a little expensive. at the same time, if i'm hoping they'll eventually get cheaper, that may not happen either since sanitizers will be in high demand for the rest of the year. i was also smart to by the female hose menders at HF, as OSJL didn't have any in stock.

after we were done at OSJL, we went to aldi's, where this was no line (unlike the previous few times), but an attendant still met you outside with a freshly sanitized shopping cart. i didn't have much to get, still not sure what i'm going to be eating the rest of the week. i almost bought an orchid ($10 is pretty cheap) but ended up putting it back; later i saw an old man buying the orchid i was carrying around. i wasn't sure i could keep it alive at my place, even though weeks ago i thought i could. easier to get some plants with less demanding needs.

back at home i made some chicken sausage oatmeal, finished the last of my frozen chicken sausage (which i defrosted last night). seeing the dirty stovetop kevin left behind made me so angry i was determined to clean it. after i finished lunch, i walked down to the dollar store to get some cleaning supplies.

everyone seems to have ammonia in the house, but when was the last time you used it? even i have a bottle, which i dug out from underneath the kitchen sink. it had this really cool fluorescent yellow-green color and the label said lemon scented. unlike bleach which starts losing its potency the moment it's packages (regardless if you open it or not), ammonia seems to last indefinitely. i opened the cap and before i could even take a sniff, the ammonia smell already hit me hard. i know you can use ammonia to clean stovetop burners and grills. in fact, i bought this ammonia back in 2012 just for this purpose. you don't necessarily need to soak them, it's the fumes that does the cleaning. i also have stronger oven spray but decided to give the ammonia a try first.

i just needed something to hold the burners and grills while the NH4 worked its pungent magic. the few websites i consulted online all said to use ziploc bags. i was hoping to find a large aluminum tray with a cover that i can use to holder several parts at the same time but none of the trays there were big enough. i ended up getting 1 gallon freezer storage bags. i also bought a pair of dishwashing gloves, so i wouldn't get ammonia on my hands.

once back at home, i took apart the stove top, removing the grills followed by the burners. each grill fit inside a storage bag just fine, but two of the burners were too long for the 1 gallon bags. luckily i still had some extra large 2.5 gallon ziploc bags. i brought everything outside to fill each bag with 1/2 cup of ammonia (i used a jar which earlier i figured out how much was 1/2 a cup). the grills had already tore tiny holes in the freezer bags, so i ended up having to double bag them with leftover reused ziplocs i happened to have in the house (find gave me a reason to use them and throw them out). i wore my face mask in case of the smell. after everything was bagged, i'll left them outside for a day or two, let the ammonia fumes work, then rinse them off back in the kitchen sink.

my next housecleaning project was to get rid of the broken tabletop glass. for that i brought out my chemistry goggles from 1992, to keep broken shards of glass from getting into my eyes. i set out some brown packaging paper and put the glass on top of that. with a hammer i gently tapped the center of the glass, increasing the force until the glass cracked in a spiderweb pattern. larger pieces i cracked some more. it wasn't as messy as i thought, though the paper did catch a lot of fine glass particles. wearing the dishwashing gloves from earlier, i started picking up the glass pieces and putting them in a cardboard box. i later transferred them into double-bagged paper bags for easier disposal. the empty box i tossed out as there was glass shards inside. the paper i carefully rolled out and throw out as well.

the nylon hose adapters finally arrived today. my father tried threading them onto the on-demand pump, they work perfectly. the special brass rain barrel spigot also arrived. i wonder if it'd be cheaper if we fitted the new rain barrels with brass bulkhead fittings instead of dedicated spigots. we don't use the spigots anyway since all our rain barrels require splitters to connect to one another. having just a generic threaded bulkhead fitting would allow us to either attach a splitter or a spigot depending on the need. the brass bulkheads will arrive tomorrow. i discovered that they sell them in 2 packs which are cheaper ($12), versus the way i bought them individually ($16). i ended up ordering the 2 pack version so i could return the more expensive single packs. i also ordered 2 brass bulkhead fittings from china at $2 a piece. the chinese ones seem better because they're not threaded on the inside, unlike the ones i bought on amazon.

i spent the day monitoring my blood pressure, which was abnormally normal, averaging about 110/80. the systolic is unusually low, not sure what that could mean. i'm trying to see if the irbesartan has any side effects. is my tiredness a result of the low pressure, or something else entirely? with the house to myself, i fell asleep for a little bit around 5:30pm, waking up 30 minutes later.

i had another meatball sub for dinner. while microwaving the meatballs, i was cleaning the kitchen and accidentally spilled a whole jar of fried garlic all over the kitchen floor. i ended up spending a good amount of time cleaning everything up, first with a dustpan, followed by several passes of the vacuum cleaner.

while recharging my phone in the living room, i accidentally snagged the cable and pulled the phone to the floor. this has happened a few times, i should find a better (safer) way to charge my phone. unfortunately this time around i managed to crack the corner of the tempered glass screen protector. it's still usable, but i'll replace it soon. i had one more screen protector left. i ended up ordering some more off of amazon, never know when the next screen protector shattering accident will happen.

1:30am at night i heard the sound of a helicopter flying low overhead. i checked the online flight radar and saw it was med flight N143NE. it was leaving lawrence and stopped at beth israel deaconess hospital. i wonder what happened? and whether or not it'll make it to the news tomorrow.